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They Fought For Each Other

Carol McCoy

Army veteran Carol McCoy is the Regional Technology Manager in Region VII and serves on the National IMT (Incident Management Team) for Team Rubicon, helping new leaders succeed during disaster responses. Carol previously served as the Assistant IT Director for the City of Olathe, KS and was appointed by the Governor of Kansas to the state Information Technology Executive Council from 2005-2007.

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Army veteran Carol McCoy has served with Team Rubicon since 2011 and is currently deployed on Operation Moonshot in Houston.

Operation Moonshot. So many landmark dates and connections during this flood response, both for our nation and me personally, and I am so very honored to spend it with my TR brothers and sisters (ok, so more like sons and daughters).

I enlisted in the U.S. Army at 18 (1975); while I didn’t go to Viet Nam, many, many of the guys I served with, along with friends from home, fought in that war. May 1, 2016 marks the 41st anniversary of the fall of Saigon. I am humbled to have served with that generation of combat soldiers, and I’m overcome with anger when I think about how they were treated when they returned home. I’ve had many conversations that have broken my heart. I love that we have so many Viet Nam veterans in TR, and to them I simply say this: “Welcome Home.”

At 19, my husband (who was also a soldier) committed suicide. It’s quite humbling to be staying in the Clay Hunt House at Camp Hope. If we had resources like Camp Hope in 1976, my husband might have discovered he had options other than killing himself. The staff at Camp Hope are incredible, and they’re doing great stuff there – learn more about their mission here.

Since April 23, Carol has been on the ground supporting the flood and severe weather response in Houston.
Since April 23, Carol has been on the ground supporting the flood and severe weather response in Houston.

April 30 marked the anniversary of TR’s first domestic response in 2011. In early August of 2011, a buddy in my SVA Chapter told me I needed to look them up. I signed up a month or so later, interviewed with a couple of people (yep, back then you “interviewed”), and the ride since then has been incredible.

All of these landmarks combine into what drives my passion for the volunteers of Team Rubicon. I don’t want to see a repeat of what happened to my Viet Nam veteran friends, I don’t want to see a repeat of the decision my 21-year-old husband made, and I believe through the empowerment of our nation’s returning veterans, TR is truly poised to change disaster response on a global level. One of my favorite movie quotes ever is from We Were Soldiers Once and nails why I serve with TR:

Some had families waiting. For others, their only family would be the men they bled beside. There were no bands, no flags, no Honor Guards to welcome them home. They went to war because their country ordered them to. But in the end, they fought not for their country or their flag, they fought for each other.

Operation Moonshot – One of the oddest names I’ve encountered in almost 5 years. According to Google, a moonshot is a project or proposal that:

  • Addresses a huge problem
  • Proposes a radical solution
  • Uses breakthrough technology
’nuff said.
It's important not to take ourselves too seriously despite the serious work getting tackled in the field.
It’s important not to take ourselves too seriously despite the serious work getting tackled in the field.